Importance of planning
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Importance of planning

  • Monday, 16 March 2009 16:40
  • Last Updated Tuesday, 06 December 2011 00:28

Going on holiday is generally considered a positive experience, yet it is not without possible complications. Your medical team and relatives should assess your risks and help you decide. Such assessment, together with knowledge of the chosen destination and itinerary, will aid identification of potential problem areas and facilitate anticipatory planning. All stages of the journey must be considered. The patient should travel with a written summary of their condition that includes:


  • diagnosis

  • recent and ongoing treatment

  • photocopy of recent Chemotherapy or Radiotherapy summary

  • medication

  • contact details (including family members, General Practitioner, Oncology team and / or Specialist Palliative Care Team)

  • written information should be in English and translated into the language of the country of destination. Copies of both should be kept in the patient’s possession at all times.

It is usual for the patient to make appropriate arrangements regarding travelling to and from the airport. If the patient is unable to travel by car or taxi, the services of a private ambulance may be necessary.

The airport terminal can be a very stressful environment for those with a healthcare need. To minimise potential problems, the patient should give plenty of notice to the airline as to what level of assistance they require. At the time of booking, the patient should clarify:

  • if it is possible to check-in or board the plane early,

  • the level of assistance with the carrying of luggage or special equipment

  • whether a wheelchair could be made available (and if there is a charge for this service)

  • the level of assistance for boarding the aircraft

  • whether medical equipment may not be allowed onto the aircraft without the prior authorisation from the Airline Medical Officer (AMO). Such authorisation should be obtained in writing, which can then be produced on demand. Medical equipment should travel in the patient’s hand luggage, as should any additional supplies required, such as syringes, batteries and spare parts.

BT Buddies would like to thank Dr. Simon Noble, Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant in Palliative Medicine and Colin Perdue, Clinical Nurse Specialist for granting us permission to reproduce this article.
 


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